India’s apparent addiction with Netflix has seen us watching — streaming — on buses, trains and planes, but new research has revealed that India has the second-highest public bingers in the world. According to a Netflix survey, a staggering 88 per cent of Indians are now watching on the go – 71 per cent more than last year – “ranking having access to movies or shows higher than food and water as ‘essential’ items for travelling or commuting.”

India is just behind Mexico – that stands at 89 per cent, according to Netflix – but considering that the difference is only a one per cent, chances are we can make it to the top spot sooner rather than later. Almost 65 per cent of us are binge-watching on trains, 58 per cent on buses and 52 per cent on a flight, according to Netflix.

While a growing catalogue of exclusive titles is one reason, a surge in public binge watching is also being attributed to Netflix’s download option. “One in two Indians download their binge for their daily commute,” claims Netflix.

Netflix added an offline option where you can download movies and TV shows and watch them later – even when you don’t have any internet – in December last year. Users even have the option of selecting video quality for the download. “Standard quality is a slightly lower video resolution that requires less storage space and takes less time to download. Higher quality is a higher video resolution that requires more storage space and takes more time to download.”

“India is hugely important for Netflix in the long term because it’s one of the strongest Internet markets (in the world) and Internet TV is the future,” Netflix co-founder and chief executive Reed Hastings had reiterated on his maiden trip to India in March earlier this year. It’s a critical market “because there are (already) over 300 million mobile broadband users here” and each one of them is a potential subscriber. “India is one of the top three markets for Netflix in terms of mobile usage. In fact, it’s stronger than all of the other Asian nations.”

Problem is our Internet is slow. And it’s also very expensive, although “we’re seeing Internet data costs — from 20 years ago to now — continuing to drop. Of course with Reliance Jio, no one has (d) ever seen a free mobile network that cost 20 billion dollars to build. It’s one of the more extraordinary things anywhere in the world.”

While Jio’s certainly a start, it’s no magic wand. Things we’re dealing with here can’t change overnight. It will take some time. And effort. Netflix, is aware of the fact, and it’s doing its bit. Because it can. The offline option is one example. No wonder more and more people are using it. No wonder more and more people are now watching on the go.

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